They attacked a party of sepoys within the frontier, and seized and carried off British subjects, while at all points their troops, moving in large bodies, assumed the most menacing positions.
At this period a band of Sikh fanatics called "akalis," attacked Sir Charles Metcalfe's escort, and the steadiness with which the disciplined sepoys repulsed them, so impressed the maharaja that he decided to change the strength of his army from cavalry to infantry.
Arrah is famous for an incident in the Mutiny, when a dozen Englishmen, with 50 Sikhs, defended an ordinary house against 2000 Sepoys and a multitude of armed insurgents, perhaps four times that number.
At first all seemed to go badly, as the British officers despised the enemy, and the sepoys were unaccustomed to mountain warfare, and thus alternate extremes of rashness and despondency were exhibited.
Undaunted, he marched out to the battlefield of Plassey (Palasi), at the head of about 900 Europeans and 2000 sepoys, with 8 pieces of artillery.